A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
will never be found by your 'diggers/ " he explained. "Those tombs are not tombs of the dead, but of the living. They contain, not mummies, but the bodies of Adepts in a unique state which the word 'trance* most nearly describes. You have discovered in India that fakirs have permitted themselves to be buried for short or long periods of time whilst keeping their bodies in an entranced state.1 The function of their breathing organs was completely suspended during the period of burial. Up to a certain point, the Egyptian Adepts are in a similar state, but their knowledge is far more profound, and they have kept their bodies entranced, yet alive, for thousands of years.
"Moreover, there is one vital difference between them and those Hindu fakirs. The latter fall into a totally unconscious state during their burial, and remember nothing until they awaken again—unless they are Adepts, in which case they
1 In my account of the Indian Yogis, A. Startb in Secret India, a reference to one of these fakirs appears on page 93. It may be of interest to supplement that reference with the following further details, which I have taken from Sir Claude Wade's official account.
The fakir was buried alive in a box which was placed in a cell three feet below the floor and with a guard comprising two companies of soldiers. Four sentries were furnished and relieved every two hours, night and day to guard the building from intrusion.
"On opening the box," wrote Sir Claude, "we saw the figure enclosed in a bag of \frhite linen fastened by a string over the head. The servant began pouring warm water over the figure—the legs and arms of the body were shrivelled and stiff, the face full, the head reclining on the shoulder like that of a corpse. I then called to the medical gentleman who was attending me to come down and inspect the body, which he did, but could discover no pulsation in the heart, temples or arm. There was, however, a heat about the region of the brain which existed in no other part of the body. The process of resuscitation including bathing with hot water, friction, the removal of wax and cotton pledgets from the nostrils and ears, the rubbing of the eyelids with clarified butter, and, what will appear most curious to many, the application of a hot wheaten cake about an inch thick to the top of the head. After the cake had been applied for the third time, the body was violently convulsed, the nostrils became inflated, the respiration ensued, and the limbs assumed a natural fullness, but the pulsation was still faintly perceptible. The tongue was then annointcd with clarified butter, the eyeballs became dilated and recovered their natural colour, and the fakir recognized those present and spoke."
I remember a very old Indian, who had witnessed a case of burying a Yogi alive for twenty-seven days. He told me that when the man had been disinterred and resuscitated, the air rushed into his lungs with a whistling noise, like that of a steam-whistle.